WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Injustice 2 #57 by Tom Taylor, Bruno Redondo, Rex Lokus and Wes Abbott, on sale now.
2013's Injustice really rocked fans with its dark story detailing the brutal and bloody civil war between Superman and Batman, after the Man of Steel and his violent regime decided to take over the planet. What was particularly remarkable about this reality was how it boasted a genuinely sprawling cast of superheroes, anti-heroes and villains. This lineup included Lobo (a downloadable character for the game), who then debuted in the 2014 comic Injustice: Gods Among Us Annual #1.
His depiction, both in the game and the book, stayed true to the core essence of the character as a trash-talking alien bounty hunter who loved causing chaos. However, he was easily dispatched in the aforementioned issue by Harley Quinn. Now, however, Injustice 2 #57 has brought the Main Man back into the fold, and shockingly gives the impression the biker just might be more powerful than Darkseid himself.
When he first appeared in this continuity, Lobo was sent by the Lord of Apokolips to hunt Superman. However, upon arriving Lobo found Metropolis devastated, all thanks to the Joker, whose schemes not only destroyed the city and its nearby denizens, but also cost the Man of Steel Lois Lane and their unborn child. Superman, in the early stages of plotting revenge against the Clown Prince of Crime, had no time for Lobo and quickly beat him down, even burning him up on a trip near to the sun. Surprisingly, Superman spared the Czarnian's life, all in exchange for Lobo bringing in Joker's accomplice, Harley Quinn.
But while Lobo did catch her, thanks to a pill which granted its user super-powers, Harley turned the tables on Lobo, pummeling him and even ripping his head off. Upon regeneration though, back in the persona of psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel, she did quite a mind-job on him, peering into his wounded ego and broken psyche after that Superman whipping.
Harley convinced him he needed to mend his pride and what better way to do so than by finding the strongest challenger he could. In a blaze of madness, Lobo sped off to the fiery pits of Apokolips as a man on a, well, suicide mission. There, Lobo surprised the New God, brazenly outing his signature cigar on his former employer's forehead. The annual ended with the Main Main challenging the merciless tyrant to a duel, with the implication being he was pretty much poised to be destroyed.
In the latest issue of DC's Injustice 2 comic, Lobo makes a statement at the expense of a rebuilding and hopeful Titans squad. Superboy, Wonder Girl and Starfire, looking to expand their ranks after Cyborg and Raven joined Team Superman, approach Jaime Reyes, aka Blue Beetle, to enlist, as they believe their deceased teammates (Tim Drake, Kid Flash and Beast Boy) would want the team to carry on and support Batman. A pensive Jaime takes them to Kord Industries, recently passed down to Booster Gold after Ted Kord's (the original Blue Beetle and Jaime's mentor) death, to discuss things.
There, the Titans make their pitch to Jaime to join and then take their leave, promising him that once united, they can make a difference against Superman's oppression. As Jaime's mulling it over though, Lobo successfully launches an explosive attack on the meeting room, incapacitating Booster before he manages to subdue and kidnap Jaime, who changed into Blue Beetle during the chaos.
The thing is, Lobo's presence is a legitimate surprise because not many people cross or disrespect Darkseid the way he did... and get to live.
We know he has regenerative powers, but surely it takes a lot more than a hyperactive healing ability to survive a brawl with Darkseid. Judging from Lobo's attitude and overall disposition, there appear to be no after-effects from their confrontation, so one has to assume Lobo, despite being the underdog, came out on top. Or, perhaps Darkseid made him a better offer, to retrieve Jaime and his power-inducing scarab. But until it's clarified, we're choosing to believe the Main Man did indeed best one of DC's most powerful villains.